A very sad story how trusting Airbnb can fuck up your life

It’s not easy to be a single parent with children and it’s not often we can afford holidays, but by renting our house while away we would have the chance to finally make a nice trip. At least, that’s what we thought.

So we had booked our weekend trip, rented our house (at a non-refundable rate), spent a lot of time and energy to clean and tidy the house and were ready to check in the guest.

But on the check-in day, we got notified the guest could not make it.

Having rented the house at a non-refundable rate we thought we would still get paid and went on our trip.

However, a couple of days later we received the following message from Airbnb:

“As your guest was able to provide sufficient documentation of an extenuating circumstance, and we have canceled reservation XXXXXX, cleared your calendar for these dates, and refunded your guest in full. As such, we will not be able to provide you a payout for this reservation.”

I wrote Airbnb arguing costs due to problems on the guest’s journey should be covered by the guests travel insurance or travel company, not by me.

But no, according to Airbnb’s policies, I’m the one who’ll lose money if something happens.

Now I’m the one in trouble, as I’ll not receive the expected amount of money to cover our trip. This means my children and I must starve the next weeks, due to Airbnb’s fucking unfair policies!

This is just very sad.

I’ll never use Airbnb again.

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I’m sorry you’re in the rough.
I hope you and your family will manage and be okay.

The extenuating circumstances are such as death in the nearest family etc. Airbnb does not accept those very often but life happens sometimes. Even to guests.

For the future you will have to try and plan your finances after a guest has checked in.
Your earnings are basically not yours before they’re are in your bank account.
A lot can happen in this “business” and its not always easy nor fair sometimes.

I sincerely hope you’ll be okay and that this doesn’t stop you from trying.
It takes experience before you have it all figured out. And it is worth it. Mostly. But best of luck with everything!


Thanks for your feedback.

However, the guests’ extenuating circumstance was not death, their train was canceled. I explained Airbnb the guest could have taken several alternative trains or busses, but Airbnb was not listening.

I just do not understand why Aibnb holds the host responsible. There’s no logic! All travelers should be responsible for having valid travel insurance to cover costs related to extenuating circumstances !

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You mean as a guest? Are you still using it to host your other properties?

We have had many stories here about full refunds given for extenuating circustances and you’ve been posting here on the forum for months, surely you’ve seen them. And of course as a host of multiple properties you are familiar with the TOS. You posted quite about this train travel cancellation several weeks ago. Are you saying it’s taken all this time for them to inform you?

I’m wondering how someone works a job outside the home, hosts multiple Airbnb properties and still has such a severe cash flow problem. I know you don’t want to hear about it but it sounds like your problems far exceed Airbnb’s policies.


Sorry to hear that. This extenuating circumstance clause is absolutely BS imo. How can the host be made to foot 100% of the cost? I am considering listing it on booking.com instead of Airbnb, but I’ll need to do more research on both.

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Wait till you get BDC (booking.com) quality guests that can do to you and your property anything and report us back BDC feedback/support.

Oooh my! A missed train? Really!? Is that it? Wow! I didn’t know it had become this bad with Airbnb.
I can’t keep up with their business decisions and constant changing procedures and processes but this does seems quite unfair

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Full disclosure here K. I don’t know the history but this reply does sounds a bit harsh here.


I am not sure it’s true Airbnb rarely grant refunds under extenuating circumstances. They even considered, but thankfully rejected an attempt by a complete bullshitter who had already cancelled for another reason. I had another situation where a system playing ex host got a refund under my strict cancellation policy.
In any case, I don’t think the host should pay for guests’ life events. This should be covered by guest travel insurance or their credit card. If the boot were on the other foot and a host couldn’t accept a guest due to a death in the family, you can bet your bottom dollar the host would be out of pocket again.
Anyway, why didn’t the guest claim earlier, rather than after the fact?


This is completely unacceptable of Airbnb.

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I understand and I did say they don’t want to hear it but frankly…

Also, Joa has had one problem after another since they joined the forum in July. I assure you I’ve read all their posts and I’m seeing a pattern of posting a problem and then not returning to update us. In addition, @Joa, you could just update the thread you already posted about this issue, no need to start a new thread. We all want to be supportive but this forum has been known to attract trolls.

Thanx mate! Your post now makes complete sense. I agree that she should have updated her op and perhaps not holding back the train part. It does indeed seem a bit trolly.
Thanks for the update. You’re completely in the right :+1:t3:


I’m not sure about that. LOL. I’d like to see Joa become a member of the community. Perhaps if they would read and not just post they could avoid some of the problems they are having.

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I’ve been burned a couple times by the EC policy. It’s a bad policy that puts burden on hosts.

However I feel we’d be doing you a disservice by simply sympathizing with you and making Airbnb the bad guy.

Straight talk: Airbnb didn’t fuck up your life. Your poor financial choices did. You floated your vacation on money you didn’t actually have. That was a bad idea and you got burned.
That sounds harsh, but if you don’t take responsibility for your mistakes you’re bound to repeat them.

Vacations are a luxury item you allow yourself when you have the basics covered. The basics should include some kind of emergency fund so your family can eat and cover bills when shit goes bad (and it will at some point).

There are a lot of great resources out there to build your financial literacy so you don’t get stuck in the future. You might check out Dave Ramsey and the app “you need a budget”.


Hi @Joa

I think everyone can sympathise about how unfair the extenuating circumstances policy can be in situations such as yours. However I do agree, that knowing it is in place, it is never a good idea to count on future income to fund current expenditure.

We all have a choice as to whether we use Airbnb knowing this policy is in place. For most of us we continue to do so, because on balance we feel that how Airbnb works and the amount of bookings we receive make it worth our while.

It’s hard to believe that you and your children will starve because of not receiving income for just one weekend for just one of your properties. Here in the UK we have food banks for those on low incomes. Is there something similar where you are?

I am a single parent too and appreciate how important budgeting is. If you really need to you might need to borrow from family/friends/ cut back on luxuries to help you get back on track.

I do agree it would be worth your while sitting down with a friend or two and going over your budget so that you are able to save and make some profits from all the hard work you are putting in with your full time job and various properties you manage.

It is somewhat difficult to help as you seem to post a problem and then don’t return to the forum again until the next problem arises so we don’t know if any of the advice we offer is helpful.


they accept nearly any reason as EC. I think it is awful.
I feel very badly for you. Horrible situation. They don’t give a hoot about hosts.

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Grow Up Folks!! There is no “unfair” in life. People interpret things they way they want regardless of whether that is factual or not.

It is NOT Air’s fault that @Joa spent money he did not have on a vacation (no matter how well deserved).

Air did NOY “fuck up” @Joa’s life. He did that all by himself by the choices he made. Living beyond one’s means is always a bad decision.

Air didn’t make @Joa “foot 100% of the cost” of anything. They simply did not pay him for services he did not provide to a guest who failed to show up.

This is the second time @Joa is posting about a guest missing a train, and not getting paid for extenuating circumstances. Or is this the first time re-visited to gain additional sympathy??? I can’t tell…

BTW I agree that “missing a train” – if that is truly the case – is not an extenuating circumstance. Unless, of course, the host is so far away from the real world that only one train per week comes to town. Not very likely, I’d say.


I think any of us who get EC’d by Air should continue to follow up with Air, tell them you do not consider the matter closed. Lay out your arguments as if you were writing a review, keep to the facts and in this case I would show all the ways the guest could have travelled, train, car, air, bus and keep at it. Keep asking for it to be handed off to a supervisor.



Can you point to successes you have had following this approach?